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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why Yoga Has a Place in Your Bodybuilding Routine

Over the last decade or so yoga has become increasingly popular. But why are so many people doing yoga and how can it help as part of a bodybuilding routine?

The interesting thing about yoga is that there is no set demographic that practice, and there are health and spiritual benefits for anyone.

Here are some of the more common benefits to practicing yoga;

  • Improved muscle stamina, strength, and flexibility.
  • Reduced blood pressure and stress.
  • Improves circulation.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Stimulates the immune system.
  • Improves the connection between a person’s mind and body.
  • Improves agility, balance and posture.
  • Helps a person create a sense of peace and calm.

What is Yoga?

Yoga was developed over 5,000 years ago in India, with the first teachings in the US around the early 20th Century. With so many health and fitness fads that come and go, seeing yoga go from strength to strength over time is testament to the results people see.

It’s not just a short term fix for any pain and discomfort, yoga is designed to create a bond between the mind and the body. It stimulates the body’s natural healing process, and yoga practitioners report a wide range of health benefits.

Yoga routines involve forming and holding different postures with your body. Improving strength, balance, and stamina. There are different postures designed to improve agility, flexibility, digestion, balance, and circulation. You can design a yoga plan to suit your own needs, for example, if you are looking for more flexibility you can focus on that.

Using Yoga to Compliment Your Workouts

Yoga stretching has been proven to be an effective stretching workout to prepare your muscles for heavy lifting. The meditation techniques learned during yoga are also beneficial to any workout, helping you regulate your breathing to maximize your oxygen intake.

This allows your muscles to release the tension built up during a workout, and heal more effectively. Anyone who is familiar with heavy lifting workouts know how important preparing and recovering from a workout is. Injuries are all too common and can cause long term damage.

Stretching after a workout is complete, is equally as important for the recovery process of your muscles. Using yoga techniques to stretch and breathe will reduce the chance of cramps, and teach you how to move more freely without clenching your muscles as much.

Benefits of Post Workout Yoga

Sunday, April 19, 2015

How To Cut Out Chemicals And Live A Healthier Life

Our pantry shelves and bathroom cupboards are stuffed full of products that make our lives easier, but do you know what they contain? If you’re unsure, you’re not alone. The truth is, many of the everyday products we use contain a vast array of chemicals that aren't just bad for our bodies, and our health, but for the environment too.

Whether it’s the deodorant you apply pre-workout, or that energy drink you grab afterwards, your gym bag is likely stuffed full of them. So today we’re looking at some easy, no-nonsense ways to cut out those ever-present chemicals, making for a healthier you, and a healthier world too. Most surprising of all? It’s easier than you might think!

Homemade Deodorants

Those weights you lift are heavy enough without thoughts of the environmental impact of your fitness routine weighing heavy on your mind. So where do we start? Deodorants are first on the list. They may be a great way to keep body odours at bay, but most use harmful chemicals to clog pores and prevent sweating. The solution? Well, it isn’t as extreme as forgoing deodorants altogether. No one wants to be that smelly guy or girl. All it takes is a little ingenuity.

There are countless natural alternatives available, but they’re also expensive. Instead, skip the store shelves and turn to your friend Google and you’ll find a plethora of home recipes that use nothing more than a few simple ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen!

Better Than Vaseline

While deodorants are great at keeping the smell away, for those with more intense workouts, sweat is an inevitability. And, in turn, chafing. Figure-hugging clothing made from material that allows your skin to breathe is a great start, but go-to pro+ducts like vaseline are a big no-no. Vaseline is an oil-refining byproduct - would you want to rub that on your skin?! - so friendlier home remedies are much preferred.

Next time you go for a run, throw a light dusting of corn or potato starch on troublesome areas, or if your workouts are more intense, there are natural alternatives that not only prevent chafing but also work to heal the skin rather than harm it.

Clean & Green - Dirty Laundry

Friday, April 10, 2015

5 Unhealthy Diets To Avoid For Fast Fat Loss

Many people are overweight. There are just as many people who either think they are overweight or worry about becoming overweight. It doesn’t matter which one of these you are, you will probably be tempted by one of the many fad diets available. These diets promise miracle results. They assure you of maximum weight loss in minimum time with little effort. Unfortunately, this is often not the case and these diets can be far from healthy. The following are some of the fad diets to be wary of:

1. The Grapefruit Diet

This diet actually originated in the 1930’s and people still use it today. Its longevity buys it a semblance of believability. In order to burn more calories and therefore lose weight, you simply need to eat a grapefruit before each meal. Combine this with cutting out carbs, eating protein and drinking plenty of water to ensure results. The grapefruit has diuretic properties which will stop the body from retaining water and should make you feel fuller which will lower the amount of calories eaten. Whilst the grapefruit diet is based on facts, this combination could have a detrimental effect on your health as you shed too much water weight and actually become dehydrated.

2. The Tapeworm Diet

This is a diet which was used in the early part of the twentieth century, and is thankfully now dying out. Dieters eat a tapeworm pill and introduce tapeworm into their intestines. The tapeworm will consume all the food eaten ensuring that the dieter loses weight. Once the target weight is reached, a second pill containing an anti-parasite is taken to destroy the tapeworm. It is very dangerous to intentionally introduce foreign bodies into your system. The tapeworm consumes your food and deprives your body of the nutrients it needs. Over time the tapeworm diet can make you seriously ill. The lack of some important nutrients could have harmful effects on your health long after the tapeworm has been killed off.

3. The Lemonade Diet

This diet is also known as the “Master Cleanser”. It has been around for many years and will probably continue to be for many more as it is very fast and easy. Simply stop eating and just drink lemonade. Drinking enough will keep you feeling full. Lemonade is made of water, lemon juice and sugar. This diet will ensure your water weight drops off almost instantly. Unfortunately, the water weight will go straight back on once you start to eat food again. There’s also the risk that very low calorie diets like this slow your metabolism and make you burn muscle mass. This could mean that it will be difficult to lose weight by any traditional method in the future.

4. The Baby Food Diet

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2 Tips To Get Ripped For The Summer

As summer is getting closer, all serious lifters are shifting into the “get ripped” mode, looking forward to the pool parties, barbeques and beach days, just waiting to take off their shirts and show their rock-solid physiques.

The bulking days are over now, and most people begin their cutting phase by lightening up the weights and performing a higher number of repetitions. Most trainees were told that "heavy weights bulk up the muscle and lighter weights define the muscle"...a mentality that is totally wrong and will only slow down your progress in the gym, making you lose precious muscle mass. 

This strategy might work for some professional bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids and will not lose their muscle even when lowering the weights, but will not work for most trainees. Not only you will lose some muscle mass due to not using the same heavy weights as you did in the winter, but you won't burn the fat either.

The main issue is that you can't spot can't target fat loss from a specific area of your body. Doing 100 sit-ups won't make you burn JUST the belly fat, and doing 30 reps on the bench press will not magically burn fat off your chest or cause your pecs to look harder and more defined.

The only way to “define” a muscle is by lowering your body fat percentage in order to make your muscles more visible...while maintaining your existing muscle mass. If you haven't built a good amount of muscle during the winter, there's no need to start cutting since you won't have much to show after the fat goes away.

There are 2 ways to burn off the unwanted fat:

1. Change Your Diet

Friday, March 6, 2015

Top 5 Bodybuilding Supplements

If you are serious about your muscle building goals and wish to get better and faster results, you should definitely include some supplements in your daily regime. There are thousands of products out there, from hundreds of companies, so we decided to save you the research time and to present you some of the best and most popular bodybuilding supplements, one from each category:

1. WheyProtein - Gold Standard Whey

Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, and whey protein is a great source. Sometimes it's difficult to achieve your daily needs of protein, and that's when protein powders become very useful. They can be consumed immediately after a workout, or each time you don't have the chance of eating a proper meal.

The best and most popular of whey protein powders is the Gold Standard Whey from Optimum Nutrition. It was awarded 9 years in a row as the best product, and it has 24 grams of protein per serving, including 5 grams of BCAA and 4 grams of glutamine. You can buy it here for $29.99 (2 lbs.)

2. Pre-workout Supplement - Cellucor C4 Extreme

To gain the muscle mass you dream of, you need to train hard in the gym and to do this frequently enough (at least 3 times per week). But sometimes you just don't feel like working out and you barely have enough energy to go through the workout. This is where pre-workout supplements come in handy , increasing energy and focus, giving you intense workouts (whether you feel like training or not).

The best selling pre-workout supplement in the US is the C4 by Cellucor. It contains a high quality blend of ingredients, that includes vitamins and minerals, caffeine, beta alanine, creatine, arginine and more. They are carefully chosen to increase energy, mental focus and strength. The C4 is available in many flavors and you can get it for $29.99 at this link.

3. Amino Acids - BSN AminoX